This past weekend I hopped aboard the Granite State Whale Watch with a group of birders in search of anything with wings. Conditions were ideal and my stomach and I could not have been happier. We saw all 4 expected shearwater species and had fun picking through small groups of Phalarope and Wilson’s Storm-petrels while the Humpback and Minke whales put on a nice show for the rest of the boat.
One thing I will never get tired of is seeing shearwaters zip by only inches (or less) over the water. It’s hard to capture just how cool it actually is to witness.
It was actually my first time birding on a whale watch and overall it turned out pretty well. We’ve been birding on fishing charters during the winter months and pretty much had thew hole top deck to ourselves to look for birds — it was a little tighter with the whale watch crowd so photos were a little tougher to come by but I managed to get a few keepers. And despite the fact that the focus is generally on the whales and other sea critters, we did pretty well with birds considering.
The highlights for me had to be my 2 life birds – Manx and Sooty Shearwaters. The Sooty was sitting on open water from a distance but the 2 Manx Shearwaters gave us some nice views as they zipped by front of the boat.